The heart works hard to pump blood throughout our body with no breaks, meaning we should work hard to look after hearts. Valentines has come and gone, we are now only a couple of months away from the Summer. This means for everybody that is involved in sports, whether playing or supporting, it is the business end of the season! Whether our club is going for league glory and battling relegation, we all need to fight with heart! (Even it is from our comfy armchairs at home).
It’s never too early and never too late to begin really looking after our heart health. Here’s some tips to help with this:
- Put out the Smoke – If you are a smoker you have heard this a million times, we know how tough it can be to stop smoking. It is said that it takes three weeks to break a habit, it is never too late to quit. The British Heart Foundation advise 2-3 days after smell and taste improve, 2-12 weeks after exercise becomes easier and after a year your risk of having a heart attack is halved!
- Moderation is Key – Its important to practise moderation if you drink alcohol. Drinking too much can raise blood pressure and can elevate the chances of heart failure as well as stroke. Moderation means one drink a day for a woman and two drinks a day for a man.
- Green Power – There is a lot of evidence that shows the positives of a diet rich in fruit and veg, Eating greens such as broccoli, kale, cabbage etc can help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.
- Plenty of Fish – Eating fish that contain omega-3 fatty acids such salmon, trout, etc can help lower the chances of coronary artery disease. Oily fish are the best for this, they are usually coloured and have darker flesh. Fishing is also a great way to relax the mind if you are looking for a new pastime for this summer! If fishing isn’t for you, making your own sushi is also good fun!
- Get Moving – Doing just 30 mins of exercise per day can be great for maintaining weight and helping us reach physical and cardiovascular fitness. Even if you are doing two lots of 15 minutes per day it counts. Every little helps!
- Cut the Sugar – Sugar has been known to increase blood pressure and can also raise signs of inflammation linked with heart disease. Cut the added sugar, even if you have around 5-6 teaspoons of sugar per day this is okay. If you do have sugar daily it is important to hydrate properly to help flush the sugar out.
- Go Nuts – Nuts are the best snacks for better energy, better heart health, better blood sugar control and overall health! Switch the crisps for nuts and you will notice the difference! People who eat nuts seven times a week are 20% less likely to get heart disease. You can have your pick from a plethora of tasty nuts such as cashews, peanuts, walnuts, pecans, pistachios, etc.
- Supplements – There are a few supplements that aid with bettering our heart health. Supplements such as vitamin K2 + D3, Turmeric and Omega 3 can support our heart health.